The biggest innovation in caravan layout to arrive in recent times has surely been the triple-bunk stack. Biggest because it’s a layout that works perfectly for families and biggest because every major manufacturer has at least one and many have several.
If you’re looking for this six-berth layout you’re probably bewildered by the amount of choice. The difference is in the detail – and in the character of each triple-bunk model.
So what are the Quasar 546’s defining features?
First and probably the most important is the presence of a separate walk-in shower in the (offside central) washroom.
Second is the flexibility of the bunk arrangement. The lowest bunk converts to a giant storage area, as do several of the other triple bunk designs on offer.
But this one goes one better. It has an exterior hatch, with a large aperture. You sacrifice a window by this bottom bunk – but we think the convenience of being able to load in your folding chairs (or whatever else) from the outside is a fair swap.
Third – unlike some, the bunk ladder of this model is not permanently attached, which has two advantages. You can put it out of the way on the top bunk or in the bottom bunk storage area during the day.
And, because it is angled so that it isn’t flush to the bunk stack, climbing up and down is a lot easier than negotiating a vertical, fixed ladder.
This model’s 5.79m body length gives you that separate shower advantage over some of its smaller competitors.
You get more kitchen surface, too – there’s about half a metre of it, to the right of the fixed-drainer sink. And the position of the table store, to the right of the (smart grey-fronted) fridge, enables the kitchen surface to protrude slightly over it, giving you a few extra centimetres.
Three burners, the usual grill, oven and microwave, plus a narrow central two-shelf cupboard and equally narrow cutlery drawer complete the kitchen arrangements. There’s a power point just where you want it for a kettle.
We did feel a little sad, though, that there is no cover for the sink and drainer in this 2010 model. Its surface is steel, in contrast to everything else in the caravan, and makes the kitchen look a little unfinished. Lunar’s designers must have read our minds, though; the new 2011 Quasars will have covers over sinks.
Work surfaces are cream granite-effect, again maximising on light-reflecting properties. That pale cream carpet looks superb – but might just have to spend some of its time rolled up under a bedding locker unless the shoes-off-at-door rule is strictly observed by all the family.
That’s Item One for the bottom bunk storage area, then… Which leads us to examine the overall storage capability of this model.
Front-end storage under those long settees is predictably huge. Front access flaps have two handles so they are very easy to open. You have six top lockers; the one nearest to the kitchen has a plate rack; mugs and bowls will fit into the fitments in the locker directly above the kitchen.
The rear section has three overhead lockers plus storage under the settees; there is front access to the rear locker.
Usefully, a shelf runs under the top lockers and along the back of the caravan – perfect for books, DVDs – but remember to stow them somewhere else when you tow!
The shower has a bi-fold plastic door and, because it’s at the site of wheel arch, it has a ledge on the offside, perfect for a child to sit down while a parent carries out the small person’s showering routine. All in all, this caravan is a very practical lightweight six-berth.
This model offers versatile family accommodation. A solid door would have given a much more effective light and sound barrier than the flimsy concertina-type - but Lunar is by no means alone on this one.
The separate shower is is wonderfully convenient (no drying the tray between each use) and there's enough kitchen surface for six. Better still, it's all-up weight is only 1440kg.
Maybe our preference for a solid door to the family area isn't justified after all, in the light of that weight figure.